At the second GCF Structured Dialogue with the Caribbean, the Prime Minister Keith Mitchell of Grenada called on participants from the region to work together to address the risks of climate change and called for this week’s dialogue with GCF to put the region on a path towards transformative adaptation and mitigation actions, set the tone for partnerships, and seize the opportunities. “The Caribbean region must be at the vanguard of this important institution,” he said while offering Grenada’s commitment to champion the replenishment of the GCF.
Simon Stiell, Grenada’s Minister for Climate Resilience, Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information, emphasised the opportunities for technological innovation, new policies and cultural changes in the Caribbean. “The Caribbean, as one of the most vulnerable regions in the world, has an opportunity to draw on the climate finance support available, to better adapt to climate change and to become more resilient,” he added.
Javier Manzanares, GCF Executive Director a.i., echoed the sentiment in the room and reaffirmed GCF commitment to the region: “The Caribbean has demonstrated its resilience. As the largest global climate fund, GCF is poised to provide further support to the Caribbean region in building resilience in your physical and natural environment in response to the climate challenge." He informed that GCF has already approved six projects in the region valued at USD 449 million and 26 readiness grants valued at USD 18 million covering 14 of the 16 countries in the region.
The Structured Dialogue, which is being held on 6-9 November, brought together Ministers and senior government officials, GCF representatives, Accredited Entities, National Designated Authorities, readiness delivery partners, private sector representatives and civil society groups. The event provides an opportunity to reflect on progress and lessons learned, to build partnerships, including engagement with GCF, and to explore new investment opportunities for both public and private sectors. The first Structured Dialogue in the region in 2017 created an impetus for the design of ambitious projects and programmes demonstrating the aspirations to reduce the Caribbean vulnerability to devastating impacts of climate change. This year’s event seeks to further advance these efforts, by boosting greater regional cooperation.
The Caribbean region is particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of climate change. Hurricanes and other hazardous weather events are growing both in number and intensity. The devastating hurricane season in 2017 alone was marked by thousands of lost lives and billions of dollars in damages. The region has also been impacted severely in 2018 by a number of hydro-meteorological events. Other risks of changing climate, which the region faces, include rising sea levels and the reduced availability and security of freshwater resources are hampering economic and social development of the region. Urgent investment in the region's critical infrastructure to boost climate resilience and shift development on a low-carbon and sustainable pathway is required. GCF is fully committed to assisting the region with transformative climate investments.
On the eve of the event, GCF also signed the Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) which marks the start of the implementation of the project Water Sector Resilience Nexus for Sustainability in Barbados. During the event, the grant agreement on the Support for the REDD+ Readiness Preparation in Jamaica was also signed with Minister Fayval Williams, Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Public Service in Jamaica. This is Jamaica's third readiness grant agreement signed with the GCF.